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Intergenerational top income mobility in Sweden – A combination of equal opportunity and capitalistic dynasties

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Abstract

This paper presents new evidence on intergenerational income and earnings mobility in the top of the distributions. Using a large dataset of matched father-son pairs in Sweden we are able to obtain results for fractions as small as 0.1 percent of the population. Overall, mobil-ity is lower for incomes than for earnings and it appears to decrease the higher up in the distribution one goes. In the case of incomes, however, we find that mobility decreases dramatically within the top percentile of the population. Our results suggest that Sweden, well-known for its egalitarian achievements, is a society where equality of opportunity for a large majority of wage earners coexists with capitalistic dynasties.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Stockholm School of Economics in its series Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance with number 705.

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Length: 21 pages
Date of creation: 04 Nov 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:hastef:0705

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Postal: The Economic Research Institute, Stockholm School of Economics, P.O. Box 6501, 113 83 Stockholm, Sweden
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Web page: http://www.hhs.se/
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Keywords: Intergenerational income mobility; top incomes; earnings inequality; income inequality; welfare state; non-linear regression; quantile regression;

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References

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  2. Alesina, Alberto Francesco & Glaeser, Edward Ludwig & Sacerdote, Burce, 2001. "Why Doesn't the United States Have a European-Style Welfare State?," Scholarly Articles 12502088, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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  4. Jäntti, Markus & Bratsberg, Bernt & Røed, Knut & Raaum, Oddbjørn & Naylor, Robin & Österbacka, Eva & Bjørklund, Anders & Eriksson, Tor, 2005. "American exceptionalism in a new light: a comparison of intergenerational earnings mobility in the Nordic countries, the United Kingdom and the United States," Memorandum, Oslo University, Department of Economics 34/2005, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  5. Samuel Bowles & Herbert Gintis, 2002. "The Inheritance of Inequality," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 16(3), pages 3-30, Summer.
  6. Alberto Alesina & Edward Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote, 2001. "Why Doesn't the United States Have a European-Style Welfare State?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 32(2), pages 187-278.
  7. Jesper Roine & Daniel Waldenström, 2009. "Wealth Concentration over the Path of Development: Sweden, 1873-2006," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 111(1), pages 151-187, 03.
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  11. Solon, Gary, 1999. "Intergenerational mobility in the labor market," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 29, pages 1761-1800 Elsevier.
  12. Heisz, Andrew & Corak, Miles, 1998. "The Intergenerational Earnings and Income Mobility of Canadian Men: Evidence from Longitudinal Income Tax Data," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 1998113e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
  13. Corak, Miles, 2006. "Do Poor Children Become Poor Adults? Lessons from a Cross Country Comparison of Generational Earnings Mobility," IZA Discussion Papers 1993, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  14. Wojciech Kopczuk & Emmanuel Saez & Jae Song, 2007. "Uncovering the American Dream: Inequality and Mobility in Social Security Earnings Data since 1937," NBER Working Papers 13345, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  17. Anders Björklund & Richard B. Freeman, 2010. "Searching for Optimal Inequality/Incentives," NBER Chapters, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, in: Reforming the Welfare State: Recovery and Beyond in Sweden, pages 25-56 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  19. Anders Bohlmark & Matthew J. Lindquist, 2006. "Life-Cycle Variations in the Association between Current and Lifetime Income: Replication and Extension for Sweden," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(4), pages 879-900, October.
  20. Nathan D. Grawe, 2004. "Reconsidering the Use of Nonlinearities in Intergenerational Earnings Mobility as a Test for Credit Constraints," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(3).
  21. Gottschalk, Peter & Smeeding, Timothy M., 2000. "Empirical evidence on income inequality in industrialized countries," Handbook of Income Distribution, Elsevier, in: A.B. Atkinson & F. Bourguignon (ed.), Handbook of Income Distribution, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 5, pages 261-307 Elsevier.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Anders Björklund & Markus Jäntti & John Roemer, 2012. "Equality of opportunity and the distribution of long-run income in Sweden," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, Springer, vol. 39(2), pages 675-696, July.
  2. Black, Sandra E. & Devereux, Paul J., 2011. "Recent Developments in Intergenerational Mobility," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier.
  3. Bergh, Andreas, 2011. "The Rise, Fall and Revival of a Capitalist Welfare State: What are the Policy Lessons from Sweden," Working Paper Series, Research Institute of Industrial Economics 873, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  4. Björklund, Anders & Roine, Jesper & Waldenström, Daniel, 2012. "Intergenerational top income mobility in Sweden: Capitalist dynasties in the land of equal opportunity?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 96(5), pages 474-484.

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